That Facebook and the applications that it owns (see Instagram or WhatsApp) want to grow and become a reference is something that we have already commented on in other articles. For this, the social network and its associated apps have adopted the strategy of always trying to stay one step ahead of their rivals (in addition to cloning Snapchat to the beast, but that’s another story).
This time it’s the turn of the Instagram web version, which allows users to upload and share photos without using the social photo app, which is a big step forward in using the social network without the app. and as they point from TechCrunch. In addition, this change seems to aim to grow as much as possible in emerging markets.
It is worth remembering that until now the web version of Instagram only allowed to add “I like”, follow, search and see notifications in the mobile version and in the desktop version. For now from the PC version you can not upload content (at least officially), and you can share content from the mobile web.
However, there are some features that are not yet present in the mobile web version of the application, such as uploading videos, adding filters, Stories and Instagram Direct. Considering that filters are an important part of Instagram’s appeal, and that Instagram Direct is growing exponentially, it would be interesting to see if these features will finally be added to the mobile web.
A for emerging markets
We return again to the desire to grow of Facebook and its associated applications. The launch of the mobile version with the ability to share content is related to Instagram’s global growth strategy, which targets 80% of its users outside of the US borders.
In this same line, the functionality of the mobile web has been increased by adding the user record from the web, a better flow for users of low-end Andriod phones and the recent addition of the ability to use Instagram offline. Thus they have managed to surpass the 700 million active users monthly.
Why is the mobile web version aimed at emerging markets? Very easy. In these countries there are no mobile networks fast enough to download the app, and in many cases the phones do not have a large storage capacity to store it without sacrificing other apps or content. In addition, the extra cost that can be generated by downloading Instagram can be prohibitive.
Through the mobile web version, users no longer have to download anything and do not have to rely on the storage available to use the application with the basic functions. From the middle point that we may soon see an Instagram Lite, on the wave of Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite.
One step ahead of Snapchat
For now, the mobile web can help Instagram keep ahead of Snapchat. The ephemeral messaging application bet everything on the video and has not worried about having a version aimed at emerging markets, where there is a majority of users with low-end Android phones. The app does not work as well there as in developed countries.
What does this mean? That Snap has left the door open for Instagram to become the standard application of visual communication in these countries. Instagram has exploited this communication channel with Stories, which already has 200 million daily users.
As cheap Android networks and mobile phones improve, Instagram will be able to earn more revenue from emerging markets. And until then, global growth directs the network effect that keeps the public “hooked” on Instagram.